Sumo Takes On Apple
Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...
Traditionally punctual to the second, a speedy train was brought to a standstill during the rush hour in Tokyo so officials could investigate a “strong burning smell,” Reuters reported Monday and added that ’s iPodwas to blame for the incident.
A spokesman with Tokyu Corp. told the news gathering organization that one of the passengers on Tokyo’s Denentoshi line was listening to an iPod when it “burst apart,” causing a strong burning smell to spread throughout the train.
Apple wouldn’t comment on the report. It’s the latest in a string of incidents in Japan that involve Apple’s music player. The government in forced the company to replace faulty iPod nanos following the media pressure and reports of minor burns in at least sixty cases. Blaming the problem on overheating batteries sourced from an unknown supplier, Apple has issued a battery replacement program for the iPod nanos sold between September 2005 and December 2006.
TOKYO (Dow Jones)--The percentage of smokers in Japan has fallen for the 15th straight year and set a new record low, the results of a nationwide survey released Wednesday by Japan Tobacco Inc. (2914.TO) showed.
In the annual survey, conducted in May by the world's third-largest tobacco producer by volume, 23.9% of respondents said they considered themselves to be smokers. The result is lower than last year's figure of 24.9%, and marks the lowest level since the company, known as JT, started compiling such data in 1965.
Japan has long been considered a smokers' haven, with smoking rates once reaching as high as 49.4% in 1966. But the number of smokers has since declined gradually, due in part to an aging population, increased health consciousness and more stringent smoking regulations.
Faced with a shrinking domestic market, JT is trying to capture a greater share of growing overseas markets such as Russia and the Middle East. In 2007, the Japanese firm spent GBP7.5 billion to acquire U.K. tobacco maker Gallaher Group PLC. JT is also seeking to diversify its sources of revenue to food and pharmaceuticals.
This year's survey showed that the smoking rate among Japanese men declined to 36.6% from 38.9% in the previous year, while the rate among women slightly increased 12.1% from 11.9%.
The JT questionnaire was mailed to 32,000 adult men and women, of which 20,631, or 64%, responded.